A CostHelper reader in New Hampshire recently had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and afterward was shocked to discover the deductible on the employer-provided health plan had jumped to $4,000 shortly before the operation. In addition, the copays for physical therapy and doctors visits had increased to $25-$50.
It's easy (and tempting) to just ignore what look like routine health insurance notices and documents, but it can be important to pay attention when an employer shops around for a cheaper group plan. Changes that save the company money on premiums can translate into higher healthcare costs for employees.
The CostHelper reader ended up with total costs of about $4,500 for the procedure and follow-up treatment. That's still better than the typical costs of $7,400-$9,000 for torn meniscus surgery without health insurance, but more than our reader had expected to pay out-of-pocket.
Employer-sponsored group health plans are reviewed and renewed each year, often in the late summer or fall. Keep an eye out for any changes to deductibles, copays, prescription plans or covered treatments that could raise out-of-pocket costs.